Author Topic: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?  (Read 9862 times)

MikeNCR

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At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« on: March 17, 2015, 10:46:43 pm »
A question was posed by Nate on Facebook-

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i was talking with Ian McMahon a few days ago about spare parts for events. is there a point where you have too many spares and it just seems pretentious or unfair?
likewise, if someone with a kitbot came with a separate weta/trilobite/pdb chassis and moved the electronics over when their previous one was beaten up, would that be unsportsmanlike?

Brandon Nichols
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I don't see how. Imagine if the chassis on your bot is bent up beyond repair. You're going to need some extras so that you can still be in the tournament.

Ian McMahon
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I agree with bringing spare parts, but what level of preparation of the spare parts is still sportsmanlike?

Ed McCarron
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We bandied around a percentage that had to stay original. Dunno what ever happened from it.

Although if i saw someone swapping in an entire new chassis I'd be watching that twenty minute between fights timer pretty closely.

Ian McMahon
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It seems like a chassis swap could be done pretty quickly if you didn't have to solder anything.

Don Doerfler
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i think you can have parts enough to build two bots but not have a 2nd one built. For example if your right side or your trilobite kit chasis is beat up along with the drive motors it would be fair to replace that and not switch to an entirely new bot

Matt Smith
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Personally, I'd say if you've got a second chassis ready to go (with some assembly) that's alright, but only if your previous chassis is wrecked. I don't see how it's any different to bringing spare panels of armour just in case they do get damaged (which they most likely will)

I would have a problem with someone having a fully assembled second machine (with electronics already assembled) to substitute in though, you'd have to keep a significant amount of the machine the same to avoid people just swapping one out for a completely fresh robot between matches...

Dylan McCarthy
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I'm with Matt on this one

Orion Beach
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I'm cool with a spare chassis and parts to go in it, a whole second complete bot ready to fight on the other hand nope!

Sean McKeown
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As long as you're not just moving electronics over from one bot to an identical spare due to some minor damage I don't really see a problem with it. I stick to occasionally bringing a select few unassembled frame parts, but I personally wouldn't mind if someone had their entire bot destroyed and had to replace and rebuild the whole thing.

Ian McMahon
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Devil's Advocate: What is the harm in someone else having a spare bot?

Ian McMahon
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It would be financially unfair. Are there other reasons?

Ed McCarron
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So I build a dozen of the same bot, and just swap them out between fights.

Fair?

Matt Smith
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Yeah I think there should be some assembly required, else what's to stop someone from just production-lining a brand new robot for each fight?

I guess there isn't any outright harm in them having a spare too but it's a massive boost to them competitively given they'll have zero repairs whereas the other team may have to make do with what they have.

Ian McMahon
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Sure, that bot might still suck.

Orion Beach
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Is it the same bot?

Don Doerfler
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half the fun is repairing your bot in 20 mins and then learning that there is a lunch break and working through that

Sean McKeown
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For me, I just think that part of it is repairing the damage when possible. If someone brings a 10 spares of every part of their robot I don't care, but if they bring 10 ready to go bots, now the repair portion of the event is eliminated and I'd feel that part of the sport is lost.

Ian McMahon
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At Moto, I brought 10 batteries for the Physiques because I didn't want to have to charge and they were $5 each.

Ed McCarron
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I think part of the intent was to include repairs between fights as part of the skill set. What would happen with NASCAR if instead of changing tires and refueling, they just swapped out cars?

Ian McMahon
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They would be safer?

Michael Jeffries
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It's an interesting topic and a difficult line to draw.

Swapping weapon modules like on Nyx? Totally legit.

Having a spare Physique chassis that the motors/escs/wires/drum could be dropped in? Also totally legit.

Pre-prepped electrical system modules (ie a fully wired drive system) that can drop into a chassis? Again, totally legit.

Swapping a receiver and battery from the damaged bot into another ready to go bot? Not legit.

I think the line is really "Could, with minimal effort, (I'd put this somewhere in the realm of no soldering, minimal addition of fasteners, etc...) the pile of spares and the actual bot both be operational simultaneously"

Probably the more simple way of doing it would be that the spare chassis can't have the motors/electronics installed beyond elements that are absolutely a part of the chassis in some way. (Built in elements like the integrated esc's on the new FingerTech Cobra sumo chassis) The other element of that would be that unless the specific part was damaged, the motors, escs, battery, rx, etc... would have to move from the first chassis to the second.

Don Doerfler
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technically speaking if you had 10 separate bots you would have to go through safety 10 times

Matt Smith
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You could call it on a percentage basis, in that say 50% of the robot's mass must remain the same, but then that's open to all sorts of flaws too, for example if Last Rites needed a replacement bar and weapon motor after a fight (not sure how heavy they are but let's say it's more than 50% of the machine) that wouldn't be allowed because of how heavy it is.

Ian McMahon
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Or if every part of the bot was replaced over the course of 8 matches. That would seem fair if it were spaced out.

Michael L. Mauldin
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Pretension was Carlo wheeling in Biohazard with no spares... just a charging cord.

Also, intimidating.

Nate Franklin
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if i swapped out my current electronics (minus the reciever and battery), motors, and switch for my ant and replaced them before a match so i wouldnt have to solder, would that be okay?

Matt Smith
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Exactly that, unless of course you make it so the percentage resets after every fight, again bringing its own issues.... It's an interesting one, but it's really tough to quantify into an actual ruleset... though it might be the case that if you did end up bringing two plus identical machines to an event the judges may raise a few complaints, potentially.

And it sounds like Carlo had the right idea with Biohazard haha

Michael Jeffries
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I think a weight % isn't the right approach. Whatever it is needs to be simple and easy to define. Any portion of the structural/metal bits can be replaced so long as all working motors/electronics continue to be used, excluding modular systems that are designed to be swapped between fights to adapt the robot to differing opponents.

Fuzzy

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2015, 10:55:01 pm »
My granddaddy only had one axe his whole life.  He replaced the handle 7 times and the head 5 times, but it was always the same axe.


IanMcMahon

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2015, 10:58:51 pm »
Well, I actually have been bringing two "identical" machines to competitions, but I have been competing with both. (Physique Red/Black and Project Excelsior/Darkness) This was done to help speed my development cycles by exposing the designs to double the number of competitors and because it is cheaper per unit to have multiples of a part made.

Realistically, this probably doesn't need to be legislated because peer pressure can probably keep it from being done. In theory, everyone who competes currently wants to remain part of the group and will probably conform to the expectations of the group.

By the way Fuzzy, nice job with the George Washington's axe argument.

MikeNCR

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2015, 10:58:56 pm »
My granddaddy only had one axe his whole life.  He replaced the handle 7 times and the head 5 times, but it was always the same axe.

But never both at the same time.

IanMcMahon

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2015, 11:15:27 pm »
True, because in theory, he would never have replaced both parts at the same time. If there is no other axe claiming to be granddaddy's, then the sole claimer maintains being granddaddy's axe.

A robot example: I have built three Scoopulas (old 12lb dustpan) over the course of my combat robot years. At one point, I sold Scoopula with all parts, and then built a new one from scratch a year or two later. The new bot was still Scoopula because it maintained the name, and no other robots were claimed to be Scoopula. It shared no metal and no electonics but the receiver and transmitter with the previous bot.

seangcxq

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 11:26:17 pm »
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at what point do "spares become a new bot
I think this is too subjective of a question to really matter.

I assume what we’re really discussing is whether or not a rule should be added to prevent people replacing one bot with another identical one or perhaps even add certain requirements or limitations to repairs.

I feel like a specific rule limiting or restricting repairs would be against the good of the sport, unless it’s outright preventing builders from bringing multiple identical, completed, and ready to fight bots to be swapped out for each fight and re-binded.

I personally enjoy the repairing of bots between fights, and for me it’s a major part of the sport. However, the more fights we get between fully working robots the better, and any limitations or restrictions on repairs will reduce this. I predict that limitations/restrictions on repairs may cause some builders to simply say “I’m out” after sustaining major damage rather than attempting to fix it due to the intensity of the repair with limited parts. Obviously other builders enjoy this part of the sport and I think we will continue to see this happen for the builders that do.

I’d like to see builders encouraged to make repairs, but I also want as many fights between working bots happen as possible. That can be conveyed to new builders with something along the lines of "We encourage you to make repairs where possible, but do not limit the amount or type of spare parts you can bring.". I expect that even without a specific ruleset regarding repairs we will most likely never get to the point where every or even most builders are simply bringing completed ready to fight robots as spares. We still haven't seen anyone actually even do this at all to my knowledge. Of course there is the possibility that at a certain point this may become prevalent and to remain competitive this may become a necessity, and at that point, if we ever get to that point, we may need to re-address this.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 11:31:13 pm by seangcxq »

Infernaltank

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2015, 11:39:27 pm »
for the record the thing that made me consider making this thread was when i was talking to ian and i brought up what happened at motorama.

would it have been acceptable if i had a pre-wired set of escs, motors, and switch together ready in case some sort of mishap took place?

seangcxq

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2015, 11:47:24 pm »
for the record the thing that made me consider making this thread was when i was talking to ian and i brought up what happened at motorama.

would it have been acceptable if i had a pre-wired set of escs, motors, and switch together ready in case some sort of mishap took place?

Yes. I don't see it as unsporting personally, I would't be surprised at all if builders have already done this before. It would probably take more time than individual repairs though, so not ideal.

As it stands now I'm not aware of any rules preventing it or even relating to it. http://nerc.us/rules.html

If you're unsure about rules, it's best to ask an event official to confirm.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 11:51:35 pm by seangcxq »

IanMcMahon

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2015, 11:49:27 pm »
I get a major adrenaline rush from repairing bots at matches with time pressure. The repairs were something that I was actually missing with Speed Wedge 3 at Franklin and on the first day of Moto. Luckily, I had two ESCs and three motors fail between the 1st and 2nd Trilobyte matches. That was a rush. I couldn't even name the tools that were sitting in front of me. My ability to think about anything other than fixing the bot was shot.

On the counter point, bringing multiple bots under one name would really just be shifting the repairs to a later time, assuming that the competitor wants to salvage the damaged bots to use in future tournaments. It would mean that the builder would not have to face time constraints and reduce the need for postponements. Between the postponements for Speed Wedge 3 and In The Margins, we delayed the ending of Motorama by about 30 minutes. Perhaps spare bots would have reduced the delay.

I am proud when I look at my battle-damaged robot that I managed to keep going for 7 straight matches, but perhaps, we should investigate alternative strategies to keep more "bots" functioning towards the end of a tournament. I don't know how much emphasis we want to place on the essence of build, fight, repair, repeat.

IanMcMahon

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 11:51:57 pm »
Would it have been acceptable if i had a pre-wired set of escs, motors, and switch together ready in case some sort of mishap took place?

You also might want to install the wheels onto the motors, if possible, so that you can loctite the hubs before the competition starts. Which bot was this for? I forgot.

seangcxq

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 11:53:20 pm »
I get a major adrenaline rush from repairing bots at matches with time pressure. The repairs were something that I was actually missing with Speed Wedge 3 at Franklin and on the first day of Moto. Luckily, I had two ESCs and three motors fail between the 1st and 2nd Trilobyte matches. That was a rush. I couldn't even name the tools that were sitting in front of me. My ability to think about anything other than fixing the bot was shot.

On the counter point, bringing multiple bots under one name would really just be shifting the repairs to a later time, assuming that the competitor wants to salvage the damaged bots to use in future tournaments. It would mean that the builder would not have to face time constraints and reduce the need for postponements. Between the postponements for Speed Wedge 3 and In The Margins, we delayed the ending of Motorama by about 30 minutes. Perhaps spare bots would have reduced the delay.

I am proud when I look at my battle-damaged robot that I managed to keep going for 7 straight matches, but perhaps, we should investigate alternative strategies to keep more "bots" functioning towards the end of a tournament. I don't know how much emphasis we want to place on the essence of build, fight, repair, repeat.

If every builder brought 10 of the same bot and switched between matches, we'd definitely see a lot less downtime, bots that are only partially working, and forfeits. It'd make it more entertaining for the crowd for sure. It would also make an expensive sport nearly 10x more expensive.

Infernaltank

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2015, 11:53:26 pm »
Would it have been acceptable if i had a pre-wired set of escs, motors, and switch together ready in case some sort of mishap took place?

You also might want to install the wheels onto the motors, if possible, so that you can loctite the hubs before the competition starts. Which bot was this for? I forgot.

slim pickens. thunder child uses bullet connectors.

Koolaid64

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2015, 09:02:25 am »
it's right when you say "this is a spare robot" instead of "this is spare parts" that's when it happens

AlexH

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2015, 11:46:15 am »
here's interesting scenario: lets say I have a tube steel midcutter (think suitcase nuke) at a 2 day event. on day one, it has a single fight and the frame is damaged beyond repair and the lipo detonated taking most of the guts with it. I postpone my fight and run to home depot and buy more tube steel and fabricate a new frame for it at the event and borrow spare parts from other people. I don't have time or materials to make the same frame I had before so the midcutter becomes a wedge. my robot has completely changed and only a couple parts remain from before but I've stayed within the spirit of the 'sport' how would something like this be handled?

MikeNCR

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Re: At what point do "spares" become a new bot?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 11:54:12 am »
here's interesting scenario: lets say I have a tube steel midcutter (think suitcase nuke) at a 2 day event. on day one, it has a single fight and the frame is damaged beyond repair and the lipo detonated taking most of the guts with it. I postpone my fight and run to home depot and buy more tube steel and fabricate a new frame for it at the event and borrow spare parts from other people. I don't have time or materials to make the same frame I had before so the midcutter becomes a wedge. my robot has completely changed and only a couple parts remain from before but I've stayed within the spirit of the 'sport' how would something like this be handled?

I would say that so long as the usable elements of the original bot moved from the first frame to the second frame it would be the "same" bot.